Prakash Javadekar | PTI
New Delhi: The BJP claimed on Wednesday that corruption involving kin of the Left and Congress functionaries in Kerala led to the absence of a waste-management plan and a consequent fire at a landfill in Kochi, and demanded a CBI probe into the matter.
BJP leader Prakash Javadekar, who is the in-charge of his party's affairs in the state, alleged involvement of son-in-law of Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan besides sons-in-law of a former Left Democratic Front (LDF) and a Congress leader in the "monumental" corruption which caused the man-made disaster recently.
"There are three sons-in-law, two companies and a big scam. The LDF and the UDF have come together in looting Kerala," he said, claiming that the companies assigned to deal with waste management in the city are linked to the kin of politicians.
There was no immediate reaction from the Left and the Congress to the charge levelled by the former Union minister at a BJP press conference here. Kerala BJP leaders, including Union minister V Muraleedharan and former Union minister K J Alphons, were part of the presser.
"I am directly saying that the chief minister has taken interest," Javadekar said.
Noting that the high court in the state has taken up the matter on its own, he expressed hope that it will order a CBI probe into the issue.
While the Left is in power in Kerala, the Congress is the main opposition party. Both are now together in looting the state, Javadekar alleged.
He noted that the landfill caught fire on March 2 and it continued for nearly 15 days, causing medical complications to a large number of people as thousands were forced to leave the smoking zone. Answering a question, he said the Centre will also act over the issue.
While the solid management rules were notified by the Centre in 2016, the Kerala government never followed them, leading to a complete "mismanagement" of waste all over the state, he said. Javadekar was the Union environment minister then.
He said the firm chosen for the waste management in Kochi received a Rs 54 crore-contract and it in turn subcontracted the task to other firms for over Rs 22 crore. "Rs 32 crore went straight into its pocket," the BJP leader claimed.
"Goa and Indore have been among the best examples of managing waste and turning it into wealth. But the Kerala government never tried to do anything in this regard," he said.
"In Kochi, there is no plant, no processing, no machinery but only expenditure. When various teams including from the Central Pollution Control Board and other organisations visited Kerala and studied the site, they found no waste-processing plant, no waste bio-mining plant but just a dilapidated compost structure," Javadekar claimed.